Music Message Movement


Yesterday at the end of our weekly business meeting over bacon and eggs I asked Kizamu if there’s anything else that needs to be done and he said, “Write a blog post. You haven’t done one in a long time.”

And a long time it has been – I realized I haven’t written a blog since we released the official music video for “First Avenue” back in May! And so I sit here at my desk thinking about all of you who continually support our music, the message, and the movement (I’m closing my eyes, trying to imagine all of you in the front row as we drop into the first song of a set) as I write this brief look at highlights over the last few months.

I still remember the morning of May 17th. We were up at 7am on just a couple hours of sleep and no coffee when we released our first official music video to the world. And I remember a huge smile came on my face when the first comment was posted by the first person to watch the video after it went public – one of my students from the Service Board. Tito Martinez. Mahalo braddah for the humbling reminder that we will always be teaching artists – it is a blessing to have the privilege of serving the next generation of builders and movers through music.

We have never seen as much traffic and as big a response as we did when the “First Avenue” official music video was released. Currently, it has been viewed in 103 countries and has generated more conversations (and sales!) of our music than anything else we’ve done. And so, in addition to the new music we’ve been working on in the studio, we have also been working on new music videos! We recently did our first remix of a song off World War Free and have been shooting the video for it in spurts throughout the summer. The final scene will be shot on our forthcoming trip to Hawai`i in early November.

We’re sitting on a bunch of new songs, a couple of which you may have heard live at the show we did in Seattle opening for Michael Rose with Sly and Robbie. Now that was an experience! Warming the stage for the reggae legends (it was pretty much a Black Uhuru reunion) was an incredible honor and very humbling. I remember hiding out near the far left corner of the stage, my eyes fixed on Sly as he unleashed each rock solid pattern after pattern on the drum kit. Robbie’s bass tone was huge and shook the walls of Neumos. It was surreal and I will never forget that night.

The new songs we played at the show will make their way onto a new EP that we are smack dab in the middle of recording and mixing. It’s been a while since we released some new material. Too long. We know. But with all the time that has passed we have been experimenting with our recording process, working out of three different studios, a cavalry of hard drives, and scrutinizing every sound that passes through the board. What you will soon hear will be different from anything we’ve put out thus far. We are so excited! This is a new phase for Kore Ionz and we hope you’re ready for a ride!

We hope to see many of you in Seattle on Friday October 25 at Nectar Lounge with New Kingston (Collie Buddz backing band) and Kid Hops, and in Honolulu on Friday November 8 at Next Door. More announcements coming soon. Much love!






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Online Store Now Open


This right here is a moment we’ve been awaiting for a long time. As of this posting, our official online store is open for business! Click on the Store tab or the image above of Riley, Emily (with Beanie!), and Lorena rocking the gear to enter.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram – from time to time we’ll be announcing limited time only promo codes to receive discounts on the merch. Like our Facebook Page and post a photo of you rocking the gear – we’ll put them all in a photo album for the world to see!

We’ve got some collaborations going on so look out for new items coming soon. Special thanks to our braddah Absalom Shantz for coaching the models and capturing the amazing shots. Happy shopping folks and see you at the next show!

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Triple Door Double Header


The Triple Door is a dope music venue here in Seattle. With a drinks, dinner, and entertainment format, it is definitely a special night out for guests, and as a performer it is nothing short of sublime. The interior of the theater is nothing short of majestic and allows for an incredibly intimate experience with the audience.

We were lucky enough to get booked not once but twice in one week, with our name up on the marquee for both shows – much love to The Triple Door for that! On Saturday March 30 we opened for a sold-out show with legendary Birmingham ska revival band The English Beat, and the following Thursday we performed for a Sexual Assault Awareness Month Benefit, with all proceeds going to API Chaya to support their fight to break the silence and provide free, confidential, and culturally appropriate services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

Shout out to the staff of The Triple Door, who offer some of the best hospitality in the city. With drinks and dinner by Wild Ginger plus a recording of our set, we don’t know if it gets any better. Looking forward to headlining the Mainstage one day soon…

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“First Avenue” Video Shoot


Many of you have been asking about the “First Avenue” music video shoot we did last Sunday and Monday, and so we thought we’d give a brief update. Although our director Terrence Jeff Santos won’t let us post any video footage from the shoot, he did send a few production stills, including the one above and the one below from the final scene at `Ohana. Other scenes were shot at a private residence in Mount Baker and at the University of Washington.

Starring Prometheus Brown aka Geologic of Blue Scholars and our new sistah Jessica Hu as the leads, the music video also features cameos by Uncle Steve Sumida, Ph.D. and Auntie Gail Nomura, Ph.D., both professors of American Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington. Even our busy braddah Owuor Arunga showed up with his family at `Ohana for the final scene while home in-between plane flights for The Heist World Tour with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Long story short, the shoot was a complete success and we now await the final product, which we plan to release well before the summer. More info coming soon…


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First Show of 2013


Its been a while! Can’t express how stoked we are for Saturday, February 2 at Nectar Lounge. The last time we performed was back in November when we rocked Red Square for the University of Washington’s 151st birthday celebration. We’re finally taking a break from two straight months in the studio at Christal Haze and taking the stage for the first time in 2013, along with the high energy ska of The Georgetown Orbits and DJ Kid Hops, who hits the airwaves with reggae every Saturday morning from 9-12 on KEXP 90.3 FM. It’s gonna be a night to remember – see you there!

Kore Ionz perform at Nectar Lounge on Saturday, February 2, 2013 with The Georgetown Orbits and DJ Kid Hops. $8 advance, $10 at the door, 21+, 8pm. 412 N 36th St, Seattle, WA 98103. GET TICKETS

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Pacific University with Geo

A couple weekends ago Pacific University brought us back down to rock The Grove (about 45 min west of Portland) with our braddah Geo of Blue Scholars. He spoke at a panel discussion earlier in the day with Professor Rod Labrador from the University of Hawai`i on social identity and activism, and we took the stage with him later that night, rocking “First Avenue,” “Save Me,” and “Sweet Reggae Music” together. Thought we’d share a few photos from the night taken by braddah Mark Fukui. If you want to see more, hit him up on Facebook! And be sure to check the Blue Scholars fall tour schedule to see if the braddahs will be in a city near you! Town All Day Tour starts November 29th!

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From Guns To Guitars

Mahalo to braddah Absalom Shantz (our drummer Teo’s older brother) for sending us this link. An amazing artist and revolutionary named Pedro Reyes is transforming “agents of death into instruments of life” in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Check out his amazing project right here.

And when you’re all pau checking that out, hear some words of wisdom from Bunny Wailer (one of the original three members of The Wailers) in this interview of him talking about chains transforming to guns:

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PHOTOS: Last Saturday at Nectar Lounge

Last Saturday we rocked Nectar Lounge with the braddahs Two Story Zori, DUBCHAMP (aka DJ Million), and Maveryck to a packed house. Through the course of the night lovers intertwined, dancers let their souls go wild, and herbalists meditated with new friends. The overwhelming positive energy in the room was flowing from wall to wall, and the only regret of the night was how short our time was together. Seattle, we felt the love, and we’ll be with you for as long as life goes on. Here are some magical moments from the night, taken by our braddah Dan DeMay.

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Nectar Lounge: 4 Years In The Making…

Tomorrow night we return to Nectar Lounge once again, this time to welcome everyone back to the fall. We stumbled upon the photo above, which is from four years ago (2008), when we performed at Nectar Lounge for the very first time. Since then we’ve shared the stage with Third World and Ky-Mani Marley, headlined a couple Earth Day celebrations (and even planted a Japanese maple in the patio), and more important than anything else, we’ve met so many of you for the very first time at one of our favorite venues here in Seattle. We’ve even heard stories about couples meeting for the first time at one of our shows and going on to get married, even using “Love You Better” as the theme! What?!

We hope everyone and their mom (which happens more often than not) comes out tomorrow night to celebrate life and love, along with our friends joining us on the bill. Our braddah Maveryck will kick off the night with “feel-good frequencies” he calls Trizz-Hop. Look out for his self-produced debut album, Bliss, set to drop in late October 2012.

Next is the one-man-dub-champion who aptly goes by DUBCHAMP. The man behind the drums with reggae legend Clinton Fearon will be dubbing all by himself – with drums, samplers, loopers, and more! He’ll also be rocking the party all night long as his alter ego, DJ Million.

Going on right before us will be our braddahs Two Story Zori, who are currently back in the studio working on their new album. Check out their single “Falling,” off their first EP release. Pak & The Lolos just shared the stage with members of Two Story Zori this past Wednesday at `Ohana, along with members of Clinton Fearon, Adrian Xavier, The Highlife Band, and Stay Grounded.

See you all tomorrow night at Nectar Lounge! It’s going to be nuts! Get your advance tickets here – they’re going fast! Show your student ID at the door and get in for the special back-to-school ticket price of just 7 bucks!

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